The 3% levy charged all consumers of electricity for street lighting has generated GH¢273.9million of revenue to government in 2018 and 2019, Energy Minister John Peter Amewu said when he appeared before Parliament to answer questions from members last Thursday.
“In summary, a total amount of GH¢273,876,832 was collected by ECG, VRA and NEDCO for the intended purpose as indicated in the Energy Sector Levies (Amendment) Act, 2017, (Act 946) for 2018 and 2019,” Energy Minister John Peter Amewu said when he appeared before Parliament to answer questions from members last Thursday.
Out of that amount, the minister noted GH¢134,266,116 was collected in 2018, and GH¢139,610,716 collected the following year.
Meanwhile, in his account he also indicated that out of the total amount only GH¢64.5million has been utilised by the Ministry of Energy for payment of energy consumed by traffic, streets, and public lights, as well as the investment and maintenance of same as required by the Energy Sector Levies (Amendment) Act, 2017, (Act 946).
In accordance with the first schedule of the Energy Sector Levies (Amendment) Act, 2017 (Act 946), which relates to Public Lighting Levy, 3 percent per price of kWh of electricity shall be charged on all categories of consumers to support payment of energy consumed by traffic lights, street lights, public lights on highways, to support investment and maintenance of traffic lights, street lights, public lights on highways by Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies.
The levies shall be collected by the Electricity Company of Ghana, NEDCO, VRA and other suppliers of electricity, and shall be paid to the ministry responsible for Power and Electricity Distribution Companies.
Going by the account of the minister on utilisation of the funds, the Minority has since demanded that the Energy Minister accounts for the remaining funds that were transferred to his ministry but were not used – which is in excess of GH¢20million.
This comes at a time when communities in the country have complained about the lack of street lights, a situation which they say leads to accidents and some criminal activities in the areas.
Recently, residents of some parts of Awoshie, a surburb of Accra, have had to demonstrate by blocking roads due to faulty traffic lights in the area. According to these residents, the traffic lights have been non-functional for months – causing motor accidents which have led to the death of some of their members.